Love begins by taking care of the closest ones – the ones at home.
Let us ask ourselves if we are aware that maybe our husband, our wife, our children, or our parents live isolated from others, do not feel loved enough, even though they may live with us.
Do we realise this?
Where are the old people today?
They are in nursing homes (if there are any).
Because they are not wanted, because they are too much trouble, because…
– taken from “Mother Teresa In Her Own Words” by Jose Luis Gonzalez-Balado
In the month of Nisan, in the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes, since I was in charge of the wine, I took the wine and offered it to the king. Now, he had never seen me looking depressed before. So the king said to me, ‘Why are you looking depressed? You are not sick! This must be a sadness of the heart.’ Thoroughly alarmed by this, I said to the king, ‘May the king live for ever! How can I not look depressed when the city where the tombs of my ancestors are lies in ruins and its gates have been burnt down?’ The king then said to me, ‘What would you like me to do?’ Praying to the God of heaven, I said to the king, ‘If the king approves and your servant enjoys your favour, send me to Judah, to the city of the tombs of my ancestors, so that I can rebuild it.’ The king—with the queen sitting beside him—said, ‘How long will your journey take, and when will you come back?’ Once I had given him a definite time, the king approved my mission.
I then said to the king, ‘If the king approves, may I be given orders for the governors of Transeuphrates to let me pass through on my way to Judah? Also an order for Asaph, keeper of the king’s forest, to supply me with timber for the beams of the gates of the citadel of the Temple, for the city walls and for the house which I am to occupy?’ These the king granted me because the kindly hand of my God was over me.
As they travelled along the met a man on the road who said to him, ‘I will follow you wherever you go.’ Jesus answered, ‘Foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of man has nowhere to lay his head.’
Another to whom he said, ‘Follow me,’ replied, ‘Let me go and bury my father first.’ But he answered, ‘Leave the dead to bury their dead; your duty is to go and spread the news of the kingdom of God.’
Another said, ‘I will follow you, sir, but first let me go and say good-bye to my people at home.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Once the hand is laid on the plough, no one who looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.’
Priorities. Have we got our priorities right? Are our lives centered around God, or around the things that we have to cling on today for survival?
When we decide that we want Jesus to be the centre of our lives, we have to be prepared to answer some questions and make some paradigm shifts. If Christ is the centre of my life, where do my loved ones stand?
In the Gospel passage, the people who had asked Jesus whether they could go back to their families before following Him were doing so because they were emotionally attached to their loved ones. This is not a bad thing, but it means that we will sometimes make decisions not for their benefit but for our own emotional gain.
We all like spending time with our friends and families. But why do we spend time with our loved ones? Is it because we want to give someone comfort? Is it because we want to build our relationships with the people around us? Or is it because we want to be in the security of those dearest to us, not wanting to step out of our fears or comfort zones to face the tests that have been given to us to learn and grow?
Let us ponder on our relationships today. When have we been self-serving with our loved ones? Those are the times when Jesus could be calling out to us to turn back to follow Him, to put Him and His love at the centre of our lives. Doing that doesn’t push our friends and family further away from us. In fact, it draws them ever closer!
(Today’s OXYGEN by Regina Xie)
Prayer: Lord, help us to always strive to centre our lives around You.
Give thanks to the Lord for: family and friends.
Thu, 4 Oct – Nehemiah 8:1-4a, 5-6, 7b-12; Luke 10:1-12; Memorial for St. Francis of Assisi, religious
Fri, 5 Oct – Baruch 1:15-22; Luke 10:13-16
Sat, 6 Oct – Baruch 4:5-12, 27-29; Luke 10:17-24; Memorial for St. Bruno, priest, hermit, religious founder
Sun, 7 Oct – Hebrews 1:2-3, 2:2-4; 2 Timothy 1:6-8, 13-14; Luke 17:5-10; Twenty-Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time
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Disclaimer: The reflections expressed in this e-mail are the writer’s own. They may not necessarily reflect the teachings of the Catholic Church. Nonetheless we should all be able to learn something from it.